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Feast or Fun

What’s your first thought?

Let’s see…two cups of cooked pumpkin per pie equals…?

Or are you eager to pull out the knife and turn into a sculpture?

Perhaps paints to demonstrate your abilities in a different way?

However, you decide to deal with a pumpkin this season — I’ll leave you with the thought of ABUNDANCE — hundreds of pumpkins — so many in a season of plenty that we can turn them into temporary works of art and still have pie for supper.

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Getting Close

Several years ago, as part of my research and promotion for Hiding Places, [a sweet romance featuring an apple orchard], I took advantage of having an apple tree nearby and photographed it often.

It was interesting to view the bare twig (have I got the right tree) to blossom, leaf, forming fruit, and then…

Lunch box treat — I wonder if the employees of the adjoining auto body shop helped themselves? I think I would have. What about you?

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Have you Eaten?

Did you have breakfast? Supper or lunch yesterday?

Thank a farmer!

No matter what was on your plate, in your bowl, or poured from your blender — a farmer was involved.

But I got it at the store?

Let’s follow the chain back, shall we. The store got it from a wholesaler and it most likely arrived on a truck. The wholesaler got it from a grower (farmer), in the case of fresh fruits and vegetables. Or they got it from a processor in the case of meats, dairy products, grain products, and specialty items such as sugar and coffee. So go back one more link — there’s the farmer, or grower, or fisherman — selling to the processor or cannery.

I’ll say it again — Thank A Farmer!

This proud farmer marks the spot for a local summer market.

 

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Autumn Abundance

Autumn equals harvest time in the Northern Hemisphere.

As the daughter and granddaughter of farmers, I’ve been paying attention to the seasons all of my life. Much depends  on seasons and weather when growing crops and animals. And while my farming has dwindled to a tiny plot of garden – planted with hope every spring – I still pay attention.

Canada recently celebrated their Thanksgiving holiday. The United States will follow in late November. This is truly a time to reflect on the harvest — one farmer grows more than enough to feed his family. The abundance in the grocery store — with produce bins full of bright seasonal fruits and vegetables, a variety of mead and dairy products available, and frozen and canned foods available without the hours of prep work.

Abundance! Give Thanks!

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Holiday Fruit

Fruit trees in the Upper Midwest, where I grew up, bloom in the spring and have fruit ready for harvest from mid-summer to fall. Depending on the sort of tree.

Winter fruit — well — that was from the store. Unless it was from a jar an adult preserved during the local harvest.

And at the holidays we often bought special fruit. Big, shiny apples shipped from another state. Or oranges — they fit so well in the toe of a Christmas stocking.

A few years our house received a box of very special fruit. A relative living in California would send my grandmother a box of “tree ripened” citrus. They were extra large and extra sweet.

Mmmmm. This sight brings back memories.

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Thankful – Needful 1

Back in the dark ages, when this author attended elementary school, we learned of the three necessities of life: food, clothing, and shelter.

During November this blog will emphasize items of which I am thankful. And yes, let’s start at the beginning. Food. It’s a favorite of mine — eating, cooking, and thinking about food occupies a lot of my mind a lot of the time. Too much if you believe the scale.

Apple and grapes. Two tasty fruits. A representation of items which belong in a healthy diet.

When you next sit down to eat – full meal or snack – give thanks for the farmer, the wholesaler, and the grocer for their parts in satisfying your need.

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Versatility from the Vine

Delicious as a snack.  Healthful for dessert.  Foundation for a drink.

Today’s fall fruit can be enjoyed in many ways. In addition it adds a splash of color to the table.

This particular cluster went from the supermarket to my shopping cart to my home. Where, after the photo session, they were bathed and clipped into smaller portions for the pleasure of my taste buds.

What’s your favorite way to enjoy grapes? Do you have a special variety you seek out?

 

 

 

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More than Pie

Autumn Harvest. It’s more than pumpkins.

Today we’ll focus on that versatile fruit — Apple.

You can eat them raw — for a healthy part of a brown bag lunch or snack. Have a knife at hand? You may want to slice them to share or dip in a caramel or sweet fruit dip.

A clever person could write an entire book on cooking them. Pie. Cobbler. Tart. Sauce. Butter. Baked. Fried. Cake.       Yum. Yum. Yum.

Don’t like your food crunchy? Try juice. Let it ferment to cider.

Whether you visit an orchard and pluck it from the tree or make your selection for a supermarket bin — enjoy the fruits of the season.

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Oh, My! I See Pie

One of the fruits we see in abundance this month is — PUMPKINS.

Consider one for a moment. What do you notice first? Color? Shape? Size?

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After a short feast for the eyes, my thoughts turn to pie. Yes, pumpkin is my favorite. (Don’t get me wrong, I seldom turn down any of the others.) I’ve made many and eaten more through the years. I’ve even started with one of these, cooked it down, used some and froze the rest in two cup portions.

In honor of my mother’s memory — I’d like to share her recipe.

Grace’s Pumpkin Pie:

1 can pumpkin (or 2 cups fresh)           2 Tblsp flour (rounded)

1 cup sugar                                                   a little salt

2 eggs                                                             1 teasp cinnamon

1/2 teasp nutmeg                                        1/2 teasp ginger

1/2 teasp lemon extract                     1 cup milk (reduce by 2 Tblsp when using fresh pumpkin

Combine all ingredients and blend well. Pour into unbaked pie crust and bake for 1 hour at 400 degrees. Knife in center will come out clean when done.

 

 

 

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Same Tree: New Crop

Two years ago, my book Hiding Places was released into the world. Since the hero of the book was developing an apple orchard, I found a local apple tree and took multiple photos of it from before first bud (hoping I’d selected the right tree) until ripe fruit was tempting and dropping.

Yes. I taste tested. Delicious.

The tree is still alive, producing a new crop of apples this year. As the only real fruit tree in a row of ornamentals, it stands apart from its neighbors. For one thing, it’s shorter. The crown is rather flat. Perhaps at one point during its growth, it was trimmed or pruned.

I doubt it receives much extra attention. Oh, a few of the employees of the nearby businesses may sneak a snack when the apples are ripe. No orchard spraying. No human assist during “June drop”. Just a semi-dwarf apple tree doing it’s bit in an urban environment.

100_5257Preview of the 2016 crop.

The book – Hiding Places — remains available through Crimson Romance, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble.